Coping with S.A.D

Living in the UK, it’s not particularly sunny all year round - especially in Scotland. Honestly, we’re lucky if we get even a sixth of the year with more than subpar weather. Still - it’s getting to that time of year when the days are shorter.

It feels like you come out of work/school/uni and it’s already getting dark out, even though it was dark when you left that morning too.

When they weather’s bad, it feels even worse. It’s like you don’t get even a moment where it’s light out because of the clouds guarding the sun like huge grey shield.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, commonly known as SAD is depression associated with late Autumn and Winter, where basically your body doesn’t respond well to the changing seasons. This can leave you feeling pretty crap all Winter due to the long stretches of darkness during the day with not much sunlight to help balance things out.

Although it’s difficult pretty much no matter how hard you try to deflect it, it’s really important to make sure you’re doing what you can to keep your life going and not sitting in a slump for almost half of the year. There’s enough to be stressed about without SAD on top of it all.

So, here are a few things I already do or I’m going to implement this Autumn and Winter to keep my spirits up as much as possible and deal with my SAD:

  1. If you’ve not got one already - I highly recommend investing in an SAD lamp. You can get them pretty cheap, and they mimic natural sunlight, which can help your brain perk up a bit as you trick it into thinking that you’re getting a healthy amount of daylight.
    You can also get these nifty little lights as alarm clocks that mimic sunrise and sunset to help you sleep easier and help you get up without feeling homicidal.

Lumie Body Clock

  1. Keep your routine going - I can’t stress how important this is. During the spring and summer months, thanks to the extra energy we have, it’s much easier to keep a good routine up, or have a tad more motivation to know you should be working on a routine. In Winter, not so much. Like how my blog posting routine disappeared and this is the first post I’ve made in over a month. Sorry!
    If you’ve got a routine going already, pep talk yourself to death (not literally pls) to convince yourself that you can keep it going through the dark days. Trust me, you will 100% feel the difference. From how much you’re getting done instead of spending all your free time under a blanket, to actually having expendable energy that you usually lose out on this time of year.

  1. Make yourself a self-care pack. No matter how much you try, you’re always going to have times where you just feel like crap. You’re not going to want to do anything but to curl up with hot chocolate and binge watch every show on Netflix.
    Self care is so important, so put a few things together that you know make you feel good. Like some chocolate, face masks, motivational notes to yourself, a journal, candles etc. Pack a bunch of stuff together and keep it aside for when you’re feeling droopy and uninspired.

    Take time out to make yourself feel better and feel your feelings. Lie in bed all day if you want to. There’s nothing wrong with it, and we all need it. Once you find yourself able to be receptive to your needs and look after yourself a bit more, you’re gonna be able to tackle the rest of the world more effectively.

  1. Keep a record (even a small note on your phone) of what you’ve done each day. First off, when you’re feeling a bit more on top of things, you’ll feel good to note down your achievements for the day. Even popping a little achievement or inspirational quote in an Instagram caption helps!

And when you’re not feeling good, you can look back to see what you achieved the last few days/weeks and be proud of that. Not to mention that it serves as a reminder that this slump isn't going to last forever and maybe even motivate you!

  1. This once can be hard sometimes, but talk to people. Utilise your support network. Whether that’s your S.O, family, friends, colleagues or all of the above. It’s highly likely that there’s going to be at least a few people who are on the same wavelength, and sometimes just getting your feelings out and relating a little bit will make you feel worlds better. Maybe someone even has some tips on how to help you feel a bit better. Either way, you’re going to feel better for talking to people, and it’s important to not just close yourself in and hibernate.

Combining all of these things together may seem like a huge task, and at times it is. But it’s always important to remember that the more effort you put in, the more you’re going to get out of it. Look after yourself in whatever way you can - you deserve to not feel crappy, and that you’ve got your SAD in control and not the other way round. 

Until next time lovelies!
Cienna xo


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